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Two days ago, World Vision U.S., one of the largest Christian charities in the country, changed its guidelines to allow for employees in same-sex marriages. Now, it is reversing that decision.

The decision to allow gay marriage among employees was widely criticized, and many donors wrote as much on the charity’s Facebook page. One major Pentecostal denomination urged members to switch their World Vision contributions to other charities. Wednesday’s news caused them to relent as well.

The result of threats of potential lost funding caused World Vision’s board to vote unanimously on Wednesday to reverse its decision and stick to heterosexual marriage only.

In a letter to donors, World Vision’s President, Richard Stearns wrote:

In our board’s effort to unite around the church’s shared mission to serve the poor in the name of Christ, we failed to be consistent with World Vision U.S.’s commitment to the traditional understanding of Biblical marriage and our own Statement of Faith … We also failed to seek enough counsel from our own Christian Partners. As a result, we made a change to our conduct policy that was not consistent with our Statement of Faith and our commitment to the sanctity of marriage.

We are brokenhearted over the pain and confusion we have caused many of our friends, who saw this decision as a reversal of our strong commitment to Biblical authority. We ask that you understand that this was never the board’s intent.

Stearns did not say how much donor funding the organization might have lost in the days since the initial change.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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